Homes for Life Modular – The Story
When Bob Aquilino founded Accessible Design & Build (AD&B) almost four years ago, he had modular home building in the back of his mind. As AD&B grew and he looked across the accessible home building industry, he saw a need for fast delivery at affordable price points. There were gaps in the market and Bob realized he could fill those gaps with an accessible modular home. The result? Homes for Life Modular started quietly soon after AD&B was founded.
Bob had previously worked with Mark Street, the current president of Carolina Country Homes, a modular business in Lancaster, South Carolina. Both Bob and Mark had spent part of their careers working to help midsized to large companies become more profitable. Mark came to Carolina Country Homes two years ago and Bob reached out. “Mark, I have this idea for an accessible modular home. What do you think?” Mark thought Bob was on to something and the two business colleagues began collaborating.
Bob and Mark retained a family-owned regional modular builder that embraced their vision for an accessible modular home. During this time, Bob met with modular companies in the northeast who were building high end modular homes and building them in The Hamptons on Long Island, New York. With his background in manufacturing and consumer product marketing, Bob learned the finer points of modular home building. With escalating skilled labor shortages and increases in building materials costs, modular homes made financial sense. He took his ideas about the accessible modular home back to their manufacturer and together, with Mark, they designed the first-ever fully accessible modular home.
How Homes for Life Modular builds
Homes for Life Modular homes are built in a factory setting. They are stick built—just like site built homes. They are built in sections, trucked to owners’ lots, and installed on foundations and walk-out basements using a crane. The rafters are on hinges and swing into place to form the roof ridgeline. Garages are site built and adjoined to a utility room and drop zone off the kitchen. There are unfinished second stories that, when completed, give the home five bedrooms and three full bathrooms.
Homes for Life Modular has more than 70 accessible features in their homes. These elements range from blocking in walls to support rails and grab bars to roll-in curbless showers, pocket doors, wide hallways, accessible cabinetry and stacked closets pre-wired for an elevator. Moreover, the interior design elements are just like site-built homes: crown molding, fireplaces, hardwood floors, Berber floor covering, tiled backsplashes, granite countertops and beautiful appliances.
The best part of a Homes for Life Modular
The part is actually two parts: time and costs. A normal site-built custom accessible home takes about 12 months to design and build—and 12 months is relatively fast. A normal custom site-built accessible home starts at $400,000. Compare the time and cost to a Homes for Life Modular and owners can move into their modular accessible home in about 16 weeks—that’s four months. And the cost for a 2,300 square foot house? The average price starts at $200,000. Lastly, Homes for Life Modular are constructed in a controlled setting using #1-grade lumber. These homes have level flooring and plumb walls with no construction trash and debris between the walls.
Where we are and where we are going
The Homes for Life Modular home floated off the production line and onto specially designed trailers where it was driven to Carolina Country Homes in Lancaster, South Carolina. This is the first of several designs that Homes for Life Modular is planning. “This type of home is the solution for many prospective owners,” says Bob Aquilino, president and CEO of Accessible Design & Build. “It is ideal for young families and grandparents. It is great for those who wish to age in place or have an immediate need for accessible housing.”
When asked where Bob sees his company going, he smiles and says, “We are in the Southeast, now, and we have plans to expand geographically. However, right now and for the time being, our focus is in the Southeast.”
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Accessible Design and Build, Inc.